Passengers on boats, planes and trains could soon enjoy superfast broadband speeds after regulator Ofcom approved the use of satellite-based technology on moving vehicles.
By installing ‘earth stations’ – devices mounted on moving vehicles – transport operators can connect to geostationary satellites capable of offering passengers broadband speeds up to 10-times faster than they currently experience.
Ofcom says recent advances in technology have improved the effectiveness of earth stations, with new antennas capable of high accuracy even when mounted on a fast-moving vehicle.
The regular has today approved the use of earth stations within the UK and made available a “relatively large amount of high-frequency spectrum” for their use.
Today’s announcement paves the way for passengers to be able to abandon their 3G dongles when travelling.
Philip Marnick, Group Director of Spectrum at Ofcom, said: “We want travellers to benefit from superfast broadband on the move at the kind of speeds they expect from their connection at home.
“Today’s decision means that operators of trains, boats and planes will soon be able to begin the process of making these valuable services available to their passengers.”
“Devices that are mounted on land-based vehicles, such as trains, will be made exempt from the need for a spectrum licence altogether. Earth stations mounted on aircraft or ships will need to be licensed by Ofcom, as these vehicles are capable of crossing into other countries’ jurisdictions.”